With a master’s degree from Sweden in computer science and experience working in multicultural teams, Aniruddh understands the advantages that diversity and internationality can offer. He moved to Germany over four years ago to pursue a career in data science, an industry that is unfortunately well-known for its lack of gender diversity. “It’s definitely a common issue in tech, and it’s important that different communities, including those who do not identify as either gender, should be encouraged to be a part of the industry and contribute to bringing more of those different ideas to the table.” He found that although he was racing towards becoming a specialist in his field, he wanted to gain a broader understanding of management to help him progress in his career as leader.
“I had other interpersonal skills that could help me fulfil my potential outside of data science. Studying at WHU offers me the opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds and industries and ultimately will help me explore other career options.”
To aid international students in their search for insights from abroad, WHU’s alumni association, In Praxi, awards its Diversity Scholarship to extraordinary applicants. As the receiver of this year’s In Praxi Diversity Scholarship, Aniruddh confirms how important it is to access a range of life perspectives. “I am a big believer in cognitive diversity,” he explains. “Every person brings a different viewpoint to the table. If you all think alike, solving a new problem can be difficult as no one thinks outside the box. If there are multiple perspectives, you can try different solutions to tackle a challenge. Perhaps someone already faced a similar issue in their own life.”
Aniruddh adds that while WHU was the only school he applied to for his MBA studies, it was mainly due to previously visiting the school through one of its entrepreneurial events, the Three-Day Start-Up. This annual event, organized by WHU students, empowers participants to solve business challenges and turn existing or new ideas into real start-up ventures. “It gave me an insight into the culture at WHU. I was interested in start-ups and entrepreneurship but had no idea how to price a product or develop a business plan. I thought it would be just a small workshop, but the guidance I received was immensely impactful. The people I met were professional, from the mentors to the students and the professors. I even won in the innovation category! I was so inspired that I said to myself, I must be a part of this community.”
Aniruddh is also involved with an organization, Statistics without Borders, assisting NGOs in big data projects, and naturally, this threw him into working with people from around the world. This included working with the United Nations to create a tool to help refugees from conflict-prone countries. “I really enjoy using my skills to help those from marginalized communities,” he adds, “It gives my work a sense of value and purpose.”
As for the future, Aniruddh is curious to see where the MBA takes him. He plans to join the WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable (a student club focused on networking and sharing ideas and skills) and delve deeper into the topic of start-ups. “Even if I choose not to start my own company, I hope to take this mindset with me. The inner resilience to not only take personal ownership of a topic, but to be accountable and see it through to its finish.”